Check us out! It’s a week to go until Valentine’s Day and we have our make all ready – we’re getting quite good at this deadline business.
Valentine’s cards are lovely, but you know what’s even lovelier? Chocolate. So, we have combined a heartfelt message with chocolate to bring you our…
The Box ~ You will need:
An empty paracetamol box (or anything around that size)
Heart shaped cookie cutter or template (but you can always draw by hand)
Craft knife or scissors
- Place your heart in the centre of the box and draw around it with a marker pen.
- Using your craft knife or scissors, cut the shape out.
- Tear your newspaper in to strips and, using glue mixed with a little water, coat each strip with the mixture and cover the box. You can cover over the join at the bottom of the box, but make sure you can still open and close it at the top.
- When this is dry (you will need to leave it overnight) give your box a few base coats of white paint – then you may decorate it however you like (paints, pens, stickers, glitter).
Chocolate Bark ~ You will need:
A bar of milk chocolate
A packet of white chocolate buttons
- Shape the foil round your box, so that you have a mold the same size and shape.
- Break up the milk chocolate and carefully melt it in the microwave. Heat it for 30 seconds at a time and keep checking and stirring until its just melted.
- Pour the melted chocolate in to your mold.
- Break up some of the white chocolate buttons and scatter them over your milk chocolate.
- Then pick the Loveheart who’s message you like the most and stick this in the centre of the bark.
- Leave to set in the fridge until completely solid.
- Remove the bark from the foil and pop it inside the box. You’re done! 😀
Just incase you were worrying we’d gone totally girly on you, we have a more boy/tomboy orientated make coming up next…stay tuned!…
We love Harry Potter, which led us – in our mission to bring you Halloween inspired makes only this month – to brainstorm this tasty treat, Snitch Cake Pops! They’d be great for trick-or-treaters, a Halloween buffet or just plain ole piggin’ out 😀
You will need:
12 plain sponge fairy cakes
Betty Crocker buttercream style vanilla icing
white chocolate (we used a bag of Milky Bar Buttons)
Dr Oetker Gold Shimmer Spray
skewers or cake pop sticks
plain white paper
- Crumble up your sponges in to a bowl. We used eight in total, it’s better to have some spare incase your mixture is too loose.
- Add the buttercream to the crumbs. Three large desert spoons were enough for us. Mix well.
- Shape the mixture in to balls using your hands, then let them chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- When they’ve chilled, melt your chocolate and coat the cake balls in it. This part is a bit tricky and very messy. Insert your sticks then put them back in the fridge to chill for about an hour.
- While you’re waiting you can make the wings. Take a small square of white paper, about 4 or 5cm wide. Fold it over in to a triangle.
- Fold again so you have an even smaller triangle.
- Make some cuts as we’ve shown in the picture below.
- Open the paper right out, put a bit of glue down the center line and stick on to a bit of skewer that you’ve trimmed to size (or you could use a cocktail stick instead.) Make two for each snitch.
- Next spray the snitches with the gold shimmer spray. This was also quite messy, so we stuck all our cake pops in to half a watermelon so we could do them all in one go.
- Lastly stick a pair of wings in to each snitch…and you’re done!
America has the Rocky Road bar, England has the Chocolate Fridge Cake, Ruby Makes is taking the road less travelled and combining the two to bring you the…
The Ruby Makes team are not unanimously a fan of nuts or glace cherries, so the traditional Rocky Roads recipe would not do. We love the fudginess of Chocolate Refriderate Cake, but aren’t so keen on the biscuit pieces and that was when we had our light bulb moment, a stroke of true genius! We added cookie dough…
…I know. Allow your inner glutton a moment to recover and we shall reveal all.
125g butter, softened
3 tbsps golden syrup
3 bars good quality chocolate (we used all dark, but you could use all milk or even both)
100g mini marshmallows
200g cookie dough
(for our measurements we used Nigella’s Rocky Road Crunch Bars recipe as reference)
- Melt the butter, syrup and chocolate in a saucepan over a low to medium heat, stirring often to prevent burning.
- You can tear or scoop out chunks of cookie dough, but we decided to loosely roll them in to small, bite sized pebbles. Rather a lot of quality controlling took place at this point…
- Tip the marshmallows and cookie dough nuggets in to the chocolate mixture and stir until everything is coated.
- Pour in to a brownie tin that has been lined with clingfilm, and chill for about 3 hours.
- The result is VERY delicious but rich, so we chopped ours in to bite sized pieces, like a sweetie rather than a cake.
If, unlike us, you are a healthy person you could add dried cranberries, pistachios…the possibilities are endless. But seriously, don’t forget the cookie dough!
Yes, it’s still raining. So the indoor makes continue. Today we have another foodie creation, pizza. It’s easy, it’s fun and it tastes delicious – so here’s how…
For our dough we follow a recipe from The River Cottage Family Cookbook. It might look like a long recipe, but it’s really just three short stages that are very easy to follow.
To make four small pizzas, you will need:
500g / 1lb 2oz Strong White Flour (bread flour) – plus extra for dusting work surfaces
2 teaspoons Salt
1 sachet Easy Blend Yeast
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Sugar or Honey
300ml Warm Water
- Put the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl and mix together.
- Add the oil and sugar (or honey) to the warm water and stir well.
- Pour the oily water in to the flour a little at a time, working the mixture together with your hands until you get a dough that is not too dry and not too sticky.
- Flour your work surface, you are now ready to start kneading! If you have any brothers who are always telling you how strong they are, you could challenge them to knead the dough for you. Set a timer for about ten minutes, if you can manage longer that’s great. You hold your lump of dough in place with the heel of one hand, and stretch it away from you with the other. Then fold the stretched part back over on to the part your holding, turn it around a bit and repeat. When you finish your dough should be all smooth and bouncy.
- Shape the dough in to a ball then put it back in to the bowl and cover with cling film or a damp tea towel. Leave it for about an hour and a half to two hours, somewhere away from drafts that is warm, but not really hot like next to a radiator.
Ok, while we’re waiting for the dough we can make our pizza sauce (also from the River Cottage cook book.)
You will need:
1 Clove of Garlic
400g Tin Plum Tomatoes
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sugar
- Peel your garlic, then use a garlic press or crush the garlic in to a paste with the flat part of a knife (ask a grown up to help).
- Tip the tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in to a pan. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up the tomatoes.
- Add the sugar, turn to a medium heat and let the tomato sauce bubble for a while, stirring every now and then to prevent burning. After 5 to 10 minutes you will have a nice thick, pulpy sauce.
- Let the sauce cool.
You can also prepare your toppings now. We always have mozzerella, but other than that we use whatever is in the fridge. Today we had ham, sweetcorn and chicken. You can use whatever you like best.
You will need to have a really hot oven for your pizzas, we put our fan oven on 200°C, so make sure you heat it up ready.
Now it’s back to the dough:
- The dough will have nearly doubled in size, divide it in to four pieces.
- Sprinkle flour on your work surface and shape your piece of dough in to a circle…or a square…or even a cat! You can use a rolling pin if you like.
- Put a baking sheet in the oven to heat up (we needed to use two to fit all our pizzas on).
- Spread some sauce on your pizza, then add your toppings. Why not try making a face or a pattern?
- Place your pizzas on the hot baking trays (best to cook one tray at a time on the top shelf) and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the base looks cooked and your cheese is bubbling.
Then, tuck in dude!
We love cooking, but most of all, we love cooking with chocolate. When chocolate is involved, suddenly lots of helpers appear in the kitchen. Weird, huh?
We have two simple recipes, both with only a couple of ingredients and both…with chocolate!
We originally saw a recipe for these here, at the Steamy Kitchen blog. They looked delicious, but we decided to simplify it and use only two ingredients – Nutella and white chocolate.
- First you need to scoop out teaspoon sized blobs of nutella and put them on a dish, plate, tray – anything you can put in the freezer. You may need two teaspoons, one to scoop and one to help get the Nutella off the scoop spoon.
- Freeze for about an hour, or until firm enough to pick up.
- Take them out of the freezer and put to one side for a moment. Break your white chocolate (we used two bars) in to bits and melt in a bowl in the microwave. Melt slowly, just a minute or less at a time, checking and stirring inbetween to prevent burning.
- Using a cocktail stick or skewer (we used corn on the cob holders) dip your nutella balls into the melted chocolate, swirling around until they are covered, and place on a plate (you can use the same one you put in the freezer) and then refridgerate until the chocolate is set.
And if you have some chocolate left over, why not chop up some fruit (we used grapes and bananas) and get dipping!
As you can see, our truffles look…well, not as round and professional as the ones from Steamy Kitchen…but they tasted delicious.
This is our own recipe, it’s not just yummy, it’s really easy too, so you can have a go (with a grown up to help) no matter how old you are.
You will need:
5oz /125g Plain Flour
1oz / 30g Cocoa Powder
4oz / 100g Butter (cold enough to chop in to cubes)
2oz / 50g Caster Sugar
- Preheat your oven to 160°C / Gas Mark 3.
- Sieve the flour and cocoa in to a mixing bowl, tip in the sugar and add the butter (cut up in to cubes).
- Rub the butter into the dry mixture. This means getting lumps of butter covered in the flour mix, and rubbing them through your thumbs and fingers until you get a bowl full of what looks like breadcrumbs.
- Clump all the crumbs together in to a ball, then press it in to a cake tin (round, square, it doesn’t matter) with your hands or a spoon, so it covers the bottom of the tin evenly.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Leave the shortbread to cool COMPLETELY in the tin.
- Cut up, eat, enjoy!